17 members appointed to New Mexico cannabis advisory committee | Local News

Touting the diversity of the panel, the state Cannabis Control Division on Friday announced the names of the 17 people who will serve on a new committee that will help develop rules and regulations for New Mexico’s budding recreational marijuana industry.

“I am excited to work with this outstanding and diverse advisory committee to make sure that real people, from all walks of life and all parts of the state, have a strong, clear voice as the adult-use cannabis industry starts up in New Mexico,” Regulation and Licensing Department Superintendent Linda Trujillo, who oversees the recently created Cannabis Control Division, said in a statement.

“Adult-use cannabis is creating exciting economic opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs and communities around the state. With this committee’s guidance, we will continue to meet our goal of making this new industry accessible,” she added.

The Cannabis Regulatory Advisory Committee is scheduled to hold its first meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday. But only members will be allowed to attend in person “due to the ongoing public health concerns posed by COVID-19,” a news release states. To access the videoconference call of the meeting, go to ccd.rld.state.nm.us.

Discussion and review of the proposed draft producer rules are among the committee’s first orders of business.

The Cannabis Regulation Act, which lawmakers passed during a special legislative session earlier this year, established the committee. It called for members from a variety of groups or professional qualifications.

Four of the newly appointed members are from Santa Fe County. They are: District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies; Chief Public Defender Bennett J. Baur; Emily Kaltenbach, state director for New Mexico’s Drug Policy Alliance; and Perry Martinez of San Ildefonso Pueblo.

Carmack-Altwies and Baur were chosen by their peers rather than by the Cannabis Control Division. The law called for the committee to include a district attorney appointed by the New Mexico District Attorneys Association and a representative from the Law Offices of the Public Defender.

Kaltenbach represents a cannabis policy advocacy organization, and Martinez represents a member of a Native American nation, tribe or pueblo.

With six members, Bernalillo County has the largest number of representatives on the panel. Bernalillo is the most populous county in the state.

The law gave the division until Sept. 1 to appoint the committee members.

Trujillo, the regulation and licensing superintendent, noted the appointments occurred before the deadline.

“We are moving quickly and judiciously to stand up a thriving adult-use cannabis industry in New Mexico,” Trujillo said in her statement. “The naming of the members of the committee today is perfect timing and ensures that this thoughtful, public group will be able to review every rule that the Cannabis Control Division puts forward.”

Trujillo also said the division is committed to an open and transparent process.

The committee will advise the division “on the development of rules covering best practices, the promotion of economic and cultural diversity in licensing and employment opportunities, and protection of public health and safety, among other subjects,” a news release states.

Committee members cannot hold any ownership interest or investment in a licensed cannabis business. 

Public voting members of the committee are entitled to receive per diem and mileage as provided under the Per Diem and Mileage Act, but the new law prohibits them from receiving any other “compensation, perquisite or allowance.”

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